For the third year running, we are excited to announce applications for the 2020 Printer in Residence Program are now open!
The Library is calling for applications from letterpress printers and artists in printing or book arts, for a residency of 8 weeks, to take place during Semester 2, 2020. The residency is acquisitive and supported by payment of $7,000.
Now in its third year, the 2020 Printer in Residence program returns to increase awareness of the Piscator Press and to encourage an ongoing enthusiasm for material book arts within the University. We also aim to foster; a creative dialogue between print and digital processes, experimentation, and active engagement with library users. Letterpress printmakers and book artists are invited to propose a project for a print publication or creative work to be made in the workshop and completed during an 8-week residency.
Applications close Sunday 1st March, 2020 at 11.59pm. Further information and application details can be found on the Library’s website.
Safely resting in the archives of our Library lives a copy of the text that rewrote the rule book on Earth and space Principia (Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica), recently featured on ABC’s 7.30 report.
First published in 1687, the text is one of the most important books on natural philosophy in which Newton establishes the modern science of dynamics and outlines his three laws of motion.
The University of Sydney copy is one of only four known copies that were sent by Newton and his assistant Roger Cotes to other mathematicians in order to eliminate any errors in a second edition. The other copies are all located in the Northern Hemisphere – two in the University of Cambridge Library and one in the Library of Trinity College.
The report uncovers how the Library came to have this important copy and the significance of the rare text.
As part of USU’s PopFest, the Library is exhibiting a selection of iconic manga from our collection titled: From slapdash drawings to an art form: Japanese manga from the East Asian Collection.
Deemed by some as rooted in the twelfth-century scrolls of illustrated stories, manga (漫画) – literally meaning dispersed, uncontrolled, careless, free-form, excessive drawings and translated as comics or graphic novels – became a successful cultural export of Japan during the twentieth century. Since its entry into the domain of popular culture first in Japan and then around the world, it has established itself as a unique art and literary form diverging greatly on styles as well as subject matters. This exhibition showcases some of the iconic works of manga from the Library’s East Asian Collection. Want to see more? Go explore our extensive manga collection on level 9, Fisher Library.
少女漫画 Girls’ manga or純情漫画 “Pure love” manga
少女漫画 [shōjo manga] is manga intended primarily for young female readership, as opposed to 少年漫画 [shōnen manga], manga for teen boys. Often considered as not so much a genre but a category by target audience, and sometimes disregarded and passed as inferior as are many things created and appreciated by women, shōjo manga is in fact a distinct and distinguished genre in itself that made space for women creators and readership in the manga world, opening possibilities for alternative characters, narratives, and sensibilities beyond the battles and adventures of robots, pirates, and samurai. From this genre many auteurs and masterpieces emerged, some that may today seem conventional and others subversive, yet all worth consideration
ベルサイユのばら = La rose de Versailles
La rose de Versailles, affectionately nicknamedベルバラ [berubara], is a classic of the classics in the genre of 少女漫画 [shōjo manga]. Also known as Lady Oscar, Berubara tells a story of two main characters: Oscar and Marie Antoinette. Both are caught in the political and romantic whirlwind against the backdrop of pre- and post-revolutionary France. Oscar is especially conflicted between their duty as the commander of the Royal Guard and their sympathy with the revolution.
It first appeared in May 1972 in the Margaret (マーガレット[Māgaretto]) magazine, which ran weekly then. After the final episode was published in the magazine in 1973, a forty-episode anime television series of Berubara was released in 1979. The series gained a huge national following during its first run until 1980, achieving cult status in Japan and overseas thereafter. Consequently, it was rerun numerous times until very recently. Berubara has also been made into Takarazuka (宝塚), Japanese all-female musical theatre, since 1974.
The Glass mask is a manga written and illustrated by Miuchi Suzue that first appeared in shōjo manga magazine Hana to yume (花と夢, “Flowers and dreams”) in 1976. It is a story of two ambitious and talented young women, the protagonist Maya and her rival Ayumi, striving to reach the highest level of the art of acting as well as to achieve their career goals.
One of the bestselling shōjo manga (over 50 million copies by 2006), Garasu no kamen is still running, the most recent volume being volume 49 published in 2012. Known to be a perfectionist, Miuchi does not release new episode easily or often. She is now 68 years old and her readership, of all genders and ages, is wishing her all the best and looking desperately forward to the next volumes. One fan aged over 80 said in an interview that her last wish would be to be able read the finale of Garasu no kamen in her lifetime. A Musical based on Garasu no kamen is scheduled to premiere in 2020, for which Miuchi is writing the scenario.
Fast forward to 1999, when Nana was created by Yazawa Ai. Nana first appeared in josei-and-shōjo (女性・少女, “women and girls”) manga magazine Cookie (クッキー), and started as a series in 2000, running until June 2009. It soon became one of the bestselling shōjo manga, selling over 34.5 million copies by 2006. In 2009 Yazawa fell ill and stopped creating Nana, leaving the story unfinished with forty-seven episodes so far. Meanwhile, monograph series was published by Shūeisha (集英社) in twenty-one volumes.
Nana is a story that evolves around the lives of two seemingly opposite women, both of whose names are Nana: one Komatsu Nana (小松奈々), the other Ōsaki Nana (大崎ナナ). Komatsu comes from a care-free home with her naïve outlook and dependent personality. Ōsaki on the other hand was a teenage runaway who is now a depressed and anxious punk rock singer. At the age of twenty-one, both end up heading to the big city, Tokyo, for a new chapter in their lives. The pair meets for the first time on their train to Tokyo and then get to live together in their new city, where one is looking for musical success and fame while the other seeks love and stability.
With the pages turning, the reader follows their journey in friendship and solidarity, while clumsily and painfully navigating their new surroundings, relationships, work, and passion. One can surely call Nana a type of twenty-first century coming-of-age tale of two young women, that cannot be told without female friendship taking centre stage.
子供向け漫画 [kodomo muke manga], or simply 子供漫画 [kodomo manga], is manga for children. Usually of a shorter length and telling simpler stories, children’s manga often features children themselves as main characters and contains educational content. Many children grow up reading manga, alone in their rooms and socially amongst friends. They read manga during their bus or subway trip to and back from school, during class breaks, and hanging out with friends after school. They borrow manga books from libraries, save up their pocket money to purchase new releases, and circulate volumes amongst friends. Manga is part of their daily lives and a common reference and forms their childhood memory as they grow up. Researchers have shown that manga helps develop literacy in children by exposing them to complex visual narrative sequences. Through repeated practice in visual language, children’s ability to comprehend and create narratives is increased. More researchers are finding that children who read manga also read more of other materials compared to those who do not, and grow up to be avid readers in general.
ドラえもん = Doraemon
Doraemon is an iconic and much beloved children’s manga series created by 藤子・F・不二雄 [Fujiko F. Fujio], nom de plume of the manga artist duo 藤本弘 [Fujimoto Hiroshi] and 安孫子素雄 [Abiko Motoo]. Doraemon first appeared in 1969 in an educational magazine for school children and in 月刊コロコロコミック (“Monthly Korokoro Comics”), both published by 小学館 [Shōgakukan], a publishing house specialising in primary education books. ロコロコ is a mimetic word describing a small, round object rolling. In January 1970, Doraemon became a regular appearance and the original series concluded with 1,345 short stories in total in 1996. Selected stories from the series were also published in monograph forms in 45 volumes from 1974 and 1996, which became one of the bestselling manga in the world, selling more than 100 million copies by 2015.
Doraemon is a story of a twenty-two-century robotic cat named Doraemon with special time-traveling powers who takes a boy, 野比のび太 [Nobi Nobita], on adventures anywhere and anytime: overseas, in the past, and into the future, while trying to help him with his troubles. Doraemon is in fact sent by a descendant of Nobita, and is equipped with all kind of futuristic gadgets. While each short story covers one problem to solve and has an ending, all stories have something in common: Doraemon uses his secret tools that magically appear from his pocket to help Nobita, but something somehow always goes wrong.
Doraemon was and still is extremely popular, and naturally grew to a huge franchise including anime series, e-book series, anime film, feature films, and video games, adored all around the world. Licensed merchandise is also very popular, generating billions of dollars globally. Doraemon collected many an award, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan appointed the character Doraemon as the nation’s first anime ambassador in 2008.
Displayed are the manga Doraemon itself and the images of entries for the Doraemon exhibition subtitled ‘please make your own Doraemon’, held in Japan between 2002 and 2004.
グルメ漫画 [gurume manga], gourmet manga, is manga on food that has established itself as a topical genre over time, starting with 包丁人味平 (HōchōninAjihei, Ajihei the cook, 1973-1977). Deemed to be the very first work in the genre, HōchōninAjihei was a series written by 牛次郎[Gyū Jirō] and illustrated by ビッグ錠 [Bikku Jō], published in Weekly shōnenjump. In this seminal work, Ajihei, son of a renowned and respected chef of traditional Japanese cuisine, decides to go on his own journey against his father’s wishes. To his father’s dismay, he decides to become best at making inexpensive yet delicious food for the people. HōchōninAjiheitells a story of Ajihei’s development as a chef, including the obstacles and challenges he meets. It is filled with information on ingredients, dishes, and cooking techniques, and punctuated with many a cooking battle. Although this particular work is not held by the East Asian Collection, the building blocks of Gourmet manga established and developed in HōchōninAjihei are evident in the succeeding titles held in the collection. The bubble economy during the 1980s and 1990s in Japan brought about a boom in gastronomy, and the gourmet manga also proliferated.
将太の寿司=Shōta no sushi
Shōta no sushi, “Shōta’s sushi”, is a typical example of the subgenre of Gourmet manga, バトル物, “the battle type”, where the protagonist chef’s personal and professional growth is achieved through various cooking battles and competitions. Created by 寺沢大介 [Daisuke Terasawa] in 1992, the original series was published in Weekly shōnen magazine between 1992 and 1997, followed by a sequel series 将太の寿司 : 全国大会編 [Shōta no sushi : zenkoku taikai hen] from 1997 to 2000.
Shōta’s Sushi follows a teenage male apprentice sushi cook, Shōta, through his journey to becoming a specialist sushi chef. The story centres around Shōta solving problems and overcoming obstacles while competing in sushi tournament competitions, from regional preliminaries to nationals.
Unlike Shōta’s sushi, Oishinbo, “The Gourmet”, belongs to another subgenre of Gourmet manga called 情報物, “the information type”, although the boundaries are unclear. In this type of gourmet manga, information on ingredients, recipes, origins, traditions, and food-related social practices are central to the story. In line with such characteristics, Oishinbo often provides lengthy and detailed description of the dishes featured, accompanied by realistic and meticulous pictorial representation.
It follows two newspaper journalists Shirō and Yūko who are put in charge of the paper’s special centenary project titled <the perfect menu>. Written by 雁屋哲[Kariya Tetsu] and illustrated by 花咲アキラ[Hanasaki Akira], Oishinboseries was first published in 1983 and ran until suspension in 2014 on the pages of Big Comic Spirits. The monograph series was published in 111 volumes, and soon became one of the bestselling manga in the world, with the approximate sales over 130 million copies by 2008. Anime television series, television films, and live-action films were also released.
Exhibited are the manga Oishinbo itself, along with two related materials: <美味しんぼ> をもっと美味しくする特别講義 (“Special lecture to make Oishinbo more delicious”), and; 美味しんぼア・ラ・カルト. 15(身も心も温まる!鍋料理) (“Oishinbo à la carte 15: nabe dishes to warm your body and mind”).
As part of Wear It Purple Day, 2019 the Library is proud to present Bending Sydney: Camp Ink 1970-77, a new exhibition featuring material from Rare Books & Special Collections. The exhibition runs from 30 August – 30 September in Fisher Library and on our ThinkSpace video wall.
We will be decorating service points and rolling out the purple carpet! Wear It Purple strives to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environment for young members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
The exhibition Bending
Sydney features material from CAMP Ink, which was the official publication
of Sydney’s first lesbian and gay political organisation Campaign Against Moral
Persecution. CAMP was co-founded in 1970 by John Ware and Christabel Poll to
create a “safe space” for homosexual women and men to come together to discuss
the issues of discrimination they were facing in Australia at the time.
A CAMP Inc branch was established on the campus of The
University of Sydney, and Rare Books & Special Collections now holds the
collection of the group’s historical publication which was published from 1970
– 1977. This exhibition highlights these publications, which was a vital outlet
for CAMP Inc.
The exhibition is curated by Library staff member Suzy Faiz. Suzy graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Sydney College of the Arts in 2017. Her work explores painting’s critical relevance within contemporary art. It ostensibly concentrates on painting and collage and primarily exhibits abstract tendencies coupled with the occasional inclusion of figurative elements. Suzy’s work has been exhibited locally and internationally and is included in private collections in Australia and Austria.
“As a young queer person, this exhibition has been particularly close to my heart. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the history of Australia’s LGBTQIA+ activism, without which we would not have the freedoms to express ourselves today.”
For many centuries Chinese drama has enthralled all types of people. Drawing on the East Asian Collection of the University Library, this exhibition showcases rare books on the history of Chinese theatre.
The exhibition consists of
three parts: the actor’s stagecraft in Chinese drama, the history of Chinese
drama, and a comparative study between Chinese and Western drama. Familiarity
with Chinese stage conventions is the key to appreciating Chinese drama.
Understanding the historical roots of Chinese drama in comparison with Western
drama provides new insights into the vicissitudes of theatrical studies.
Chinese drama continues to be a quintessential element of Chinese culture. The curtain of the stage is now raised!
In Chinese drama, theatrical conventions made up of movement, costumes, face-painting and props all convey meaning in abstract ways.
The fakebeard is a distinctive part of the costume for many characters in Chinese drama. “Beard work” in Chinese drama refers to the skilful manipulation of the beard, tossing it in the air, grabbing it in a dramatic pose, and even flicking it outwards to indicate various emotions.
A horsewhip is a flexible cane with several tassels and a finder loop. It is used to indicate mounting, dismounting, riding and leading a horse.
Flags are usually used to convey a battlefield scene. Four triangular flags are inserted on the back of the performer and it is used to exaggerate the heroic demeanour of the character.
Pheasant tails are tools that the actor manipulates to express a wide range of emotions. The actors use two fingers on each hand to hold and bend the tails in various poses both in front of and behind themselves. They even clench the feathers in their teeth.
Actors use long sleeves, long tresses and handkerchiefs to convey internal emotional states from joy to anger in order to punctuate a scene with dramatic action.
The traditional Chinese opera stage is normally bare. A plain stage with only a table and two chairs can represent a courtroom, household, palace or even mountaintop.
Cloud whisks are used primarily by supernatural beings like Taoist immortals and religious characters.
Walking in circles means making a journey.
The stagecraft of Chinese theatre is to suggest rather than to completely present. The suggestion is enough to evoke the entire reality.
Chinese drama is a genre capable of treating
any topics in great depth – love, war, religious conversion, political
struggles and criminal investigations to name a few. Famous plays
Injustice to Dou E by Guan Hanqing
in the Han Palace by Ma Zhiyuan
of the Duke of Zhou by Zheng Guangzu
on the Paulownia Tree by Bai Pu
West Chamber by Wang Shifu
The Peony Pavilion by Tang Xianzu
Comparative studies of Western and Chinese drama
The Orphan of Zhao赵氏孤儿
The Orphan of Zhao赵氏孤儿was a
play written by Ji Junxiang纪君祥in about 1330 AD. The play has revenge and retribution as its
central themes. This piece was the first specimen of Chinese dramatic
literature translated into a European language. There were five European
adaptations in the 18th century: two in English, one in French, German, and Italian,
The play is founded on an event which occurred in the
middle of the 7th century BC. A
military leader is determined on exterminating the whole Zhao family. A
faithful dependent of the family saves the life of the orphan by concealing him
and passing off his own child in his stead. The orphan is brought up ignorant
of his real descent until he reaches manhood. Once the truth is revealed, he
seeks vengeance for the death of his family against the usurpers and ultimately
recovers his birthright.
Voltaire adapted the play and he had it acted in the Comédie-Française in August 1755. Voltaire used the play as a didactic tale of morality and he called the play “the morals of Confucius in five acts.”
Arthur Murphy had his adaptation produced at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane in April 1759. He includes a letter to Voltaire with suggestions to improve the play.
Chen Shouyi states, “Each adaptation embodies some attempt at Europeanising the Chinese play. Particularly striking are the efforts made in observance of the Three Unities*. Both Voltaire and Murphy simplified the plot element and reduced the stage scenes. Voltaire embodied in the adaptation his admiration for ancient China, his confidence in the triumph of civilization over savagery. Murphy saw in it a fair chance for adapting and improving Voltaire.”
Studies in Chinese-Western
Hong Kong: The Chinese University
Available at Fisher Library
General 895.1 13
Comparative research is a research
methodology in social sciences that aims to make comparisons across different
countries or cultures. Can you think of other areas of comparative studies?
History of Chinese drama
A History of Chinese Drama
London: Paul Elek Books Limited, 1976
Available at Fisher Library General
Dr. William Dolby (杜为廉) was a lecturer in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh. As one of the foremost experts on Chinese language, culture and history, Dr. Dolby was a leading pioneer in Chinese theatrical studies and published A History of Chinese Drama in 1976. It was one of the first substantial works of Chinese theatrical history in western countries.
Can you draw a timeline of Chinese theatrical developments using the table of contents?
The cover image is originally from China Illustrated drawn by Thomas Allom who was a famous British illustrator for travel books in the 19th century. The image depicts a Chinese drama performance. Full volumes of China Illustrated can be found in the Rare Books Collections at the Fisher Library.
This book is considered as the first
monograph of Chinese theatrical studies. Wang Guowei (王国维) is one of the most renowned
intellectual luminaries of modern China.
According to Wang’s research:
The definition of Chinese drama must encompass “speech, action and singing
in order to perform stories”.
Chinese drama originated from witchcraft performances and temple rituals.
Chinese drama matured in the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368 AD) and it embodied
the value of “naturalness” which Wang considered as a universal standard for
Chinese drama is an indispensable part
of Chinese folk culture. Rare books on folklore in the Song Dynasty (960–1279
AD) and the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368 AD) recorded some historical developments
of Chinese drama.
南村辍耕录 Nan Cun Chuo Geng Lu
Beijing: Zhonghua Book
Available at Fisher Library East
Asian General EA 2700 3
Cheng Ji Sheng
耐得翁 Nai Deweng (Song
Taibei: Taiwan shang wu yin shu guan, 1979
Available at Fisher Library East
Asian General EA 9105 9
There were amusement quarters known as瓦舍washe ‘tile
booths’ in the Song Dynasty where 雜劇zaju ‘variety plays’ were performed.
Jing Meng Hua Lu
孟元老 Meng Yuanlao (Song
Shanghai: Po ku chai, 1922
Available at Fisher Library Rare
Books & Special Collections, EA 9100 3
booths’ were a number of棚 peng ‘awnings’
which could hold thousands of audience members.
吴自牧Wu Zimu (Song
Zhejiang: Zhejiang Ren min Chu Ban
Available at Fisher Library East
Asian General EA 2665.7 8
When you write academic essays, you need to provide primary and secondary sources to support your arguments. Are these books primary or secondary sources?
Zhijun Yang graduated with a Master of Art Curating with distinction at the
University of Sydney in 2018. She graduated from the University of Auckland
with a Bachelor of Arts in history and Asian studies in 2017, and was
awarded the Summer Research Scholarship of the University of Auckland. Jenny is
currently a gallery assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and
was previously a gallery assistant at the Auckland Art Gallery. She also works
as a collection manager for a private collector. She co-curated the Giuseppe
Castiglione Print Exhibition（宫廷画师郎世宁）at the George
Fraser Gallery in collaboration with the Auckland Art Gallery Foundation and
the National Palace Museum of Taiwan in 2016. In 2018, she curated an
exhibition on Thomas Allom, Perspectives
of an outsider: Thomas Allom’s fascination with 19th century China with
the University Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, and gave a Rare
Bites talk: Orientalism in Thomas
Allom’ s engravings. Jenny has a Chinese heritage and her dream is to
share Chinese civilization with others.
 Chen Shouyi, “The Chinese Orphan: A Yuan Play – Its Influence on European Drama of the Eighteenth Century,” in The Vision of China in the English Literature of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries edited by Adrian Hsia, 1998, Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.
* Three Unities require a play to have a single action represented as occurring in a single place and within the course of a day. These principles were called unity of action, unity of place, and unity of time.
Dr David Andrés Fernández is a visiting scholar from Complutense University of Madrid, Musicology and he will be discussing his latest research findings concerning some of the liturgical manuscripts recently purchased by Rare Books and Special Collections.
These manuscripts include books for both Cathedral and Monastic use, dating back to the thirteenth century. Many of the books focus on the period from Christmas to Epiphany.
Although provenance for a number of these manuscripts cannot yet be established with any certainty, repertorial and decorative evidence in some of the books points to links with the liturgical agenda of Salamanca Cathedral. Two monastic antiphonals and one gradual are identified with religious communities (Servites, Jeronymites, Augustinians) and one of these appears to have been associated with a particular house of nuns (Our Lady of the Snows).